June 12th, 2008
03:17 PM ET

What do close Obama-McCain polls suggest?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A highly unpopular Republican president, an equally unpopular war in Iraq, a battered GOP brand, economic worries, $4 dollar plus gasoline. It seems like this election should be tailor-made for a Democrat, especially one who's promising change.

But that's not what the polls are indicating so far. The latest CNN poll of polls shows Barack Obama leading John McCain 48% to 43%, a difference of just 5 points.

A new Wall Street Journal-NBC poll puts Obama's lead at 6, which is double his previous lead. However, it's much smaller than the Democrats' 16-point lead when voters are asked – without candidates' names – which party they want to win the White House.

The poll points to strengths and weaknesses of both candidates. When it comes to Obama, he leads John McCain among African-Americans, Hispanics, women, Catholics, Independents and even blue-collar workers. Obama is also ahead, 61% to 19%, among those who say they voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries. So much for the disaffected Clinton supporters.

But, McCain leads Obama among white men by 20 points. The Arizona senator also tops Obama when it comes to white suburban women, a critical voting block. However – Obama leads McCain among all white women.

As for McCain, his biggest challenge might just be President Bush. One Democratic pollster calls the president a "200-pound ball and chain" around McCain's ankle. Also, more voters in this survey say they're looking for a president who will bring change, instead of one who has more experience.

Here’s my question to you:What does it mean if Barack Obama and John McCain are less than ten points apart in the polls?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

J.C. from Raleigh, N.C. writes:

Jack, McCain had the advantage of Obama and Clinton bashing each other until last weekend. Wait a few weeks and a tsunami of voters will be flocking to Obama. The first wave will come when women begin to glean McCain's views on freedom of choice and health care. Next, once Obama chooses a VP with defense and diplomacy chops, the men will join the women en masse in support of Barack. This will happen even if McCain doesn't blow a fuse or deliver additional gaffes about not caring how long we remain in Iraq.

John from Albany, New York writes:
Well, Jack, much to your annoyance, it means that the Hillary supporters will decide who becomes the next president. That is as it should be. I am one of those voters and there's nothing like being the tie-breaking vote. It makes you feel very important.

Ozgur from Bloomington, Minnesota writes:
It means that quite a few people don't view McCain as a "typical Republican." He's popular with independents (who are often fiscally conservative but socially more liberal) and the fact that polls show he is more desired in office than the Republican Party illustrates the point. Apparently his numerous breaks with the party paid off in terms of this election.

Robby from Jacksonville, Florida writes:
What it means is that the nation is pretty evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. However, Democrats are far more excited about their candidate than Republicans. The small margin between Obama and McCain tells me that it's a lot easier for Republicans to tell the pollster on the phone "I like Mccain", than literally get off the couch and go spend a couple hours at the voting booth. Obama in a landslide, because Democrats are FAR more likely to turnout to vote.

Jay from Sherman, New York writes:
Jack, It means that it is June and the American public really cares more about trips to the beach, or picnics or ballgames. Most people probably hung up when the pollsters asked for their opinions. Give us a break. After Labor Day when the campaign begins in earnest these polls might actually mean something. Until then I am going to fire up the grill and enjoy my porch.

Kevin from Massachusetts writes:
Jack, It means your job is safe at least until November.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. sarah, Indiana

    it means that intelligent people know that mccain is NOT bush's third term. and it means that masses of democrats do NOT like the ultra liberal empty suit the DNC foisted upon them as a candidate.

    June 12, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  2. Sandi AZ

    It looks to me as if Obama will take this election. I feel when all is said and done, we will have a Blue United States of America! The red states will be sent overseas to China!

    June 12, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  3. Carol c.

    It means they aren't asking the right people! I have friends who have ALWAYS voted repub lican who say that they guess they will have to vote democratic this time and we are in Tennessee!

    I can truly say I have never had a pollster call and ask my opinion. Obama just finished an exhausting campaign with Sen. Clinton. He will reach the people as soon as they have both of them on the stage at the same time. It will show John McCain's inability to think when faced with a fast response time. Do we really want him in charge of our security/money. Can't wait for the debates!

    Knoxville, TN

    June 12, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  4. Gord from Boston

    Hanging George Bush on John McCain isn't going to work. McCain is a straight talking war hero and will be judged on his own words and actions. Obama is getting a bump now that the primary is over, let's see what happens to his poll numbers when America really gets to know him. I'll bet on McCain.

    June 12, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  5. Bob L from Philadelphia, PA

    It means that Obama is being seen as the same old Washington politician and that the Obamedia is not doing their job of protecting their boy. Ya hear that Jack? Your good buddy Barack is not paying you guys off any more?

    June 12, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  6. Christopher, Florence, SC

    Jack, It's a horse race right now. McCain had a head start while Obama was finishing the race against Clinton. Obama had to catch up and now he is running ahead of McCain. The finish line is a long way off, but I think the younger dark horse will win.

    June 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm |


    The polls suggest nothing and this is why. I was a Vietnam P.O.W. and was tortured for over four years. As a result of my captivity, I have received countless hours of counseling for over thirty years to address my mood altering behavior along with other lingering issues. That is why it is so disturbing to see John McCain continuously use his war record to justify why he would be a better commander in chief, knowing that being in captivity for years creates many problems as you can obviously see by his frequent out brutes on the Senate floor. Jack, security can be best achieved by sound diplomacy and not the typical war mongering of John McCain and his coveted special interest groups. If this war hasn’t served as an eye opener, I guess nothing will. How stupid of me to forget about what he wants to do to Iran once he gets in office.

    June 12, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  8. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It still means that there are a lot of white men and women that will not vote for a black man. We have come a long way as a society but still have a long way to go.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  9. Amarissa

    It means that millions of democrats do NOT believe the rhetorics of "Change" coming from the unqualified and leftist candidate the DNC imposed on us democrasts! It means, JACK, that Hillary should come BACK SOON or we will loose another election!
    Amarissa from Miami, Florida

    June 12, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  10. Amnesty IS Treason

    just to add about the nightmare situation; Mitt Romney or Ron paul should be at the head of the republican table!

    June 12, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  11. Julie from LA

    It means that flip-flopper McCain is a ...flop, Jack. This time the voters are getting it right.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  12. Ron Mechanicsville VA

    McCain can't win, will never happen. But, Obama can't fix our problems.
    We're done! we made it passed 200 years so that's pretty good. But Evil wins and the Greed in politics will do the rest, just a matter of a few years!

    June 12, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  13. Esmond L. from Fort Myers, FL

    What it says Jack is that America is not paying enough attention to the specifics because if they had they would have noticed that McCain is dogged in his insistence on keeping America in a war that the majority of us do not want, dogged in not putting forward a plan to help Americans out of foreclosure, and plainly obvious in his plan on another term of the same-old Bush administration policies.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  14. Louis

    Jack it means that those surburban women dont know that John McCain in Pro-life. As soon as John McCain is discovered on this issue, all of those women will come on board to Obama. As for white men, Obama might not be able to overtake McCain in this group, but if he continues to showcase his economic proposals he could cut McCain's lead enough to win the White House by a landslide. Dont forget Jack, Scott McClellan is set to testify before the Judiciary committee next Friday on what he knows about the false rationales for the Iraq war. Many of these white men have sons and daughters in harms way and if they find out from a White House insider that the Iraq war was based on a lie, they just might be angry enough to do phonebanking for Obama.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  15. Harold

    It suggests the media is manipulating the numbers so the dummies that voted for bush will vote for McCain and hopefully make a close race of it and maybe even win, if we can find that many dumb bush loyalist.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  16. Betty - AL


    One thousand out of the multi-millions is not a good sampling.

    It's just an infinitesimal group.

    Not accurate representation of the entire country. A waste of time.


    June 12, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  17. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    It means nothing at this point. I wish pollsters would just do these polls every other month. That would be Aug., Oct. – Yeah! That would save the polsters a lot of money and it would help prevent continues anxiety, worry, anger, high blood pressure, etc. in a lot of voters.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  18. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    This early in the game, the polls mean almost nothing. Polls are used to sway voter opinion and are manipulated to suit the message. Pollsters call a comparatively tiny fraction of people, and can be influenced by money, just like everything else in politics. Obama is miles ahead in charisma, speaking ability, knowlege of economics and just about every other category you can name. If McCain is really stupid enough to square of with Obama in a public debate, that 10% lead will skyrocket. Besides, everybody knows that old Republicans always vote for the party, not the candidate. That's how we got stuck with the clown we have now.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  19. Billy G in Las Vegas

    give it time, Jack. Clinton and Obama's fight for the nomination just ended. they can now concentrate their fire on McCain and the Republicans.

    also, a few more interviews like the other day where McCain basically said he didn't care IF or WHEN our Troopers and Marines got out of Iraq and he will self destruct on his own. the late Ann Richards comments about G H W Bush being "born with a silver foot in his mouth" comes to mind almost every time McCain opens his.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  20. stuart kennedy- berthoud, colorado

    Both candidates have positives and negatives. Neither candidate has put much of a plan forward for the economy, there have been no debates, and it is only june! so all the polls are showing is that the number of conservatives and liberals are close. the swing voters will not make an impact until much later, probably October or after.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  21. joan ont.ca

    When the debates start Obama will out shine McCain. McCain is a terrible speaker. Just learned today that McCain is coming to Canada on the 20th that means Canada will have two twits on that day- McCain and Harper.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  22. leevaughn brown

    Hey Jack
    It means that the swift boat engines are waming up
    Cinti, Ohio

    June 12, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  23. John Portelli

    Well, Jack, much to your annoyance, it means that the Hillary supporters will decide who becomes the next President. That is as it should be. I am one of those voters and there's nothing like being the tie-breaking vote. It makes you feel very important.

    Albany, NY

    June 12, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  24. Heather in Pennsylvania

    It means McCain squandered a five-month head start, Jack. I'd imagine 'close' is probably as good as it's going to get for him.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  25. Joe in DE

    That a large part of the electorate is dissatisfied with the nominees.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  26. Drew, Central FL

    It's not like they are neck and neck here, Jack. In fact, Obama pulls ahead a little more every day. There are five more months of this. Can you all say President Obama?

    June 12, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  27. Kevin in Mass

    Jack, it means your job is safe at least until November.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  28. Heyne Ampuero

    Suggests that Senator McCain will win the election in November. Senator Obama had all the headlines and media attention during the democratic primaries with Senator Clinton. By now he should be ahead by double digits.

    If America is so against president Bush, how come the difference is only 4%?

    Most of us are not single issue voters, besides I don't want another "Carter like" presidential period.

    Fairfax Station, Virgnia

    June 12, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  29. mitch martin arkansaw

    it means the rich,white folk are going to fight hard ,to keep their winnings ,over the past 7 1/2 years,whether our country self-destructs, or not.sad ,that greed causes blindness,deafness,and a lack of conscience.i wonder if any one, of the multitudes of GODS that people worship,would approve of this behavior.shame on republican,rich,white people! [ indepent,white,hillbilly...for obama '08]

    June 12, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  30. Chris Swansea, MA

    It means still after all we have been through there are still many people in this country willing to drink the Kool-Aid. (McCain supporters)

    June 12, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  31. Palmer from Nashville, TN

    On Thursday, June 12th, 2008, nothing. Polls are great but we all need to be watching the electoral college which favors Mr. Obama, at the moment. Until November comes around I wont be looking at polls.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  32. Jeff

    It means that despite the rancor among Democrats, Obama enjoyed a benefit from the continued media attention to his campaign. McCain could not get an inch in the NY TImes or 2 minutes on the news shows.

    It means is that after the conventions the real polls will begin. It means that as usual the electorate will take the devil they know over the devil they don't know.

    It means that in the end McCain will win, but the Democrats will enjoy an almost veto-proof House and Senate. Divided government!! The American people love it.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  33. John from Santa Barbara, CA

    Obama supporters say that Clinton backers should vote for Obama to prevent a Rebublican from winning the Whitehouse. The Republicans feel the same about not letting a Democrat become President. The last election, both partys were at 50%, dead even. The close polls mean that Obama is making inroads into the Republican backers or the Independents.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  34. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Perhaps it means that a substantial number of Hillary supporters are still
    wanting revenge. Maybe they will cool down and vote Democratic when they are past denying.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  35. Shirley-Ohio

    What it means Jack is that some Americans want change in Washington and some don't. Once Obama is able to stay on complete message regarding the issues besides having to deal with the BS then Americans will see and know what he has to offer and the polls will start to change infavor of Obama.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  36. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Was the poll taken when he flipped or when he flopped?

    June 12, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  37. Dan, Chantilly Va

    Polls in general are completely untrustworthy, but let's assume this is an actual breakdown of America and assess the meaning. When Democrats don't like their candidate, they stay home. When Republicans don't like their candidate, they vote for him anyways. When Independents don't like either candidate, they get mad at the Democrats and Republicans, and sit around on this blog posting about the quality of the choices until one day they either snap and develop an aneurysm or begrudgingly vote for the lesser of two evils. Did I mention I don't like either candidate?

    June 12, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  38. sandy in Ohio

    Jack, I think it means people are just getting to know Obama and that his numbers will increase as they do. For me I have spent a lot of time on the internet getting to know McCain and I can tell you it just made me a stronger Obama supporter. Women really need to look at McCain's stance on women's issues and not just the right to choose but women's health issues too.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  39. erick

    plain simple mc cain needs to retire

    June 12, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  40. JC

    If you want a great read about the platform of the Chicago Democratic Machine politics, read the book: Don't Make No Waves, Don't Back No Losers.
    Author is : Milton Rakove.. The players (like Obama) are different, but the corruption is still alive, Obama is part of the machine, if not, you can't even run for dog catcher in Illinois..The rest of the American voters should read this book before they go to the polls in November.
    Thank you.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  41. jennifer from Cape Cod

    It means people are attracted to them both for different but strong reasons--McCain is a true American hero with a will of steal and is (for better or worse) completely honest in his opinions and public statements....this is a strong man not afraid of anyone and this gives him a "dad"-like quality Reagan had-funny, warmhearted but always strong and always behaving with charactor.
    Barrack is a great motivational speaker (like a Tony Robbins), he plays to people's hope that someday maybe Washington could change (not very likely but we can hope) and that social change (race relations/equal opportunity ) can really happen. He also has the Bill Clinton-charisma thing.
    Jenn Cape Cod

    June 12, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  42. Damian Salter

    It means that it's 'Hello Mr. President Obama.'

    Bam-bam was 30 points behind Clinton at the beginning of the Primaries.
    Now he's already 5-8 points ahead of McCain.

    June 12, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  43. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    It doesn't mean a thing yet. It's like being in the first inning, and the score is a zero-zero tie.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  44. Chicago Bob from Illinois

    It means that after being pounded in the primary campaign that just ended Obama's popularity has reached the low point and is starting to rise. His lead will keep rising toward the the 16%. More importantly, Obama leads in the electoral vote based on current state polls is 303-235.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  45. Elidian in Detroit, MI

    Sad how close these candidates are afte all Bush has done. McCain is in the same bandwagon as Bush, and he's close to Obama who represents the opposite view. As a first generation American, it shows how this is country never pays attention to the real world stuff. Well, I hope Barack pulls this off.
    OBAMA 08

    June 12, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  46. Faye in Ohio

    A ten point difference would simply mean that we still have roughly five months to go until the general election, and the point difference is likely to be much more in Obama's favor by then. I honestly don't know why anyone would even agree to run for president ; the candidate has to face spiteful attacks on family, character, and anything negative the media or bloggers can think up. If a candidate's mother was not successful in toilet training him / her, a spectacular mention of this is bound to come up so that the voters can dissect it for double meaning.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  47. Wes B.

    It means that nearly half of the country is strictly Republican, and nearly half of the country is strictly Democrat. The difference is made in that 10-20 percent that falls in the middle. This is why a "uniter" is such an appealing title to throw around when running for president. However, it really does take someone special to be a uniter in a country that seems so divided.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  48. Betty - AL

    Obama is a Constitutional Person.

    McCain is a warmonger.

    Need any more?

    Thanks AMERICANS

    June 12, 2008 at 4:04 pm |

    tampa, fl. as usual, the selection process stinks so it doesn't matter which slimeball you vote for, they are both the same.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  50. Dan

    It means voters are waiting to see them side by side, and that is bad news for McCain. A youthful, energetic, elequant and inspiring man vs an old, stiff, hypocritical and close-minded man. I wonder who the American public will choose.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  51. bob, oshawa, canada

    Jack, it means that the American people, despite what the polls say, are reluctant for change. Many would be content with more of the same with John McCain. Somehow they feel that the Bush policies both foreign and domestic are good for the country despite evidence to the contrary. After all, didn't McCain recently say the economy is basically sound? With that kind of assurance, why change.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  52. Pam, Portland, Oregon

    It says that this is June 12. The November polls with show an entirely different story.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  53. Bud Curtis

    It means that the Democrats gave away an election they could not lose. It is one thing to choose a minority candidate so we can all feel good about how far we've come, but it is another to nominate a leftist candidate with little or no experience to be an effective President. It also means you, Jack, should stay cordial to Senator McCain. You may want him as a guest on your program after he becomes the next President.
    Bud Curtis
    Miami, OK

    June 12, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  54. Silk. Orlando, FL

    It means that people are idiots! They want to keep voting for rich old white guys who have done nothing but run the country into the ground. It's time to get someone in office with new ideas. I hope people see that McCranky is just a Bush clone (or clown).

    June 12, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  55. lampe

    I do not know how you can say, Obama had a tough fight with Sen Clinton,when most of the news people gave him a free ride including you Jack.Now we will really see what you boy is made of. Polls do not matter the only thing tht matters is Nov.4th, when you will really see where Sen. Clintons supporters are.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  56. Dana

    Can't wait to see who's nose crosses first in this horse race!
    To be honest Jack, it means the American people are divided the same way the political party is divided. Don't hold your breath, but lets hope the right candidate wins.
    On another note Jack, I can already see another book you are writting!

    Clermont, Florida

    June 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  57. Sasha Cha

    They suggest that not everyone is in favor of voting in another incompetent, inexperienced un-qualified President like the one we've had to endure for the past 7-8 years.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  58. karen from philly

    People sorry to burst your bubble but Obama did not get nominated because of affirmative action it is because we like his principles and idealogy. He is representing the future of America a more fairer and better country for all of us. Not just the rich people.

    Sorry bud curtis, you are wrong. Our voices are heard. ( I am not black either, wow a different color person actually likes Obama!)

    June 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  59. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    It means a lot of people still think McCain is the maverick of 2000. Once people realize he's not the same person he was back then, the numbers will change in Obama's favor.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  60. Robert

    At least in part it means, that white men who have worked hard to break out of the middle class don't want to be taxed so much that we're right back there. We don't mind paying our fair and equal share, but shouldn't have to pay more than that, which is exactly what Mr. Obama wants. Given all the media attention and slant towards Obama he should be 20+ point ahead and he's not. Give it time and he'll be behind.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  61. Jayhawk

    It means nobody really good wants the job.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  62. Todd M

    Its going to take time for people to open their eyes and see that Obama is the clear choice here. In my opinion we are waiting for the 20 percent of the public who cant make up their mind or are considering a last minute change. You can basically count on at least 40 % each for each nominee but bottom line we are waiting on the 20% of the public who most will claim are "Independent" but basically just crave more attention as always.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  63. john marlton, nj

    The candidates being apart by ten points means it will be a full blown media circus for the next five months. Spending for political ads and revenue for media outlets will be at record levels. It will make the Super Bowl look like public access programming. Now is the time for you and Wolf to lock up those long term employment contracts, use of corporate aircraft, limos, daily spa treatments and people to fetch your bottled water, glass bottled water. We are all full of envy

    June 12, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  64. Julie from PA

    It suggests a lot of bitterness yet on the part of women because of how Hillary Clinton was targeted by various media people. She was targeted in a mean spirited, underhanded way while Barack made a certain tv commentator's leg's shake.

    I am bitter because of how she as a woman was treated. It showed a lack of respect for women in particular older women. That is why the polls are so close we haven't forgiven this treatment yet. Besides we do like McCain's maverick side. As long as I am the cook in this house it would be wise for the men to agree with me and that is not in Barack's favor right now.

    What do you say to that Jack.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  65. Whitney

    There no way in hell McBush is getting my vote. All republicans including McCain are hypocrites and protray this perfect lifestyle that unrealistic. I'm so so ready for change and that why my vote will be for Obama. Someone who is human and doesn't condemn people and tell them how to live.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  66. nick from San Diego

    come'on Jack,

    Obama has been fighting a two-front battle for the past several months and he's still on top. Even in a "change" election, you've got to give the people enough time to evaluate who they are going to elect. Now that we are finally down to the final two choices, I think the majority will eventually choose Obama because of his high moral standard, intelligence, and of course, his plan to help the middle class.

    Let's give him a break, please. He's done an amazing job so far and has already made history.

    Go Obama!

    June 12, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  67. Dilibon Kojak Brooklyn, NY

    Trust me the polls do not mean nuttin'! Most people are not fully concerned about the election! If Obama does not make a major mistake, if there is no more drip drip, any new major video or dossier... Obama will be the next US president! McCain appears to me as a poor old man standing in the tracks a huge train named: Change from the fear tactics!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  68. Michael. Stockholm, Sweden

    It means the american people are ready for change. I have to remind of the primaries just finished two weeks ago. Clinton people needs time to come to their sens. Five points ahead now, means change is coming. America is desperate for change unless you wan´t to put your much needed money to a
    war thats makes you unpopular around the world at the same time lose your brothers and sisters! Put the money were it´s needed, in AMERICA! PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE!

    OBAMA =08

    June 12, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  69. B.E.Lahmon Jackson MS

    I agree these polls don't mean much now but I think that Obama will win because McCain just don't seem to be connecting with anyone other than his own base and I don't even know what they see in him.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  70. Sasha Cha

    Okay Hillary Clinton is out of the picture. Obama should be leading by at least Triple digits. What's up with that?

    June 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  71. Joe, New York

    The close polls suggest that the Americans haven't learned their lesson. Instead of going with the candidate that promises change and a restoration of the American dream, they let their racism and bigotry blind them

    June 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  72. Derrick Doyle

    Don't think I'm placing the race card but I think race is the big elephant in the room that everybody is trying to ignore. I bet money there are many who hate this administration but are extremely uncomfortable with giving a black man that much power. This election is going to make America look deep into their souls.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  73. Michael Truslow

    Thanks for asking the tough questions.
    As a white man, I am ashamed to say that the closeness between Obama and McCain means most white men would rather support a white man who will make their lives worse, than a black man who would make their lives better.
    Racism ... shameful but true.
    Mick in South Carolina

    June 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  74. Sheri D. from Rockland County

    The low spread in the polls says Americans are as stupid as they were when they elected GWB. This, unfortunately, is not UNBELIEVABLE! What will it take for people to come out of their stupor?

    June 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  75. Jackie Juno Beach, FL

    Well, Jack.
    Simple stupid. The Democrats selected the wrong nominee to take back the White House. Buyers' remorse will simply grow in the months to come.......with a flawed, inexperienced, candidate who promises change and new politics, but in reality is more of the same.....just talks a better talk and walks a self-confident walk.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  76. Pat from Montana

    It means the American public has finally figured out how to get their revenge on the news media. We have launched a nationwide conspiracy to mislead pollsters whenever they call us. That way, when the polls are a dead heat and the news media gets their projections wrong, but the election is a landslide, maybe they will finally quit droning on about meaningless drivel like this and actually focus on getting information to us on a topic that might help us make better decisions when we vote. Then again, that could be expecting too much; that might involve "reporting" rather than just "repeating" the news.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  77. Bruce Thomson

    I'd like to point out that it takes no extra effort for people to answer a pollster's questions over the phone. Getting up, driving to the polls, waiting in line, and actually voting is much more of an effort – and historically, American's haven't been overwhelmingly eager to do so. So I ask, which candidate is more likely to activate his base and motivate voters to get out and actually vote? I just don't think McCain can activate anything.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  78. Kelly-Ann(Toronto, Canada)

    It shows that regardless of how bad the economy my be, there are still a good # of Americans that will not vote for a non -white to be the 'Leader of the free world". It's a shame because this should be a walk in the park for any democrat since the republicans stance on many issues are so un-popular. I don't think it's an Obama problem ... this would be the difficulty faced by any non traditional candidate would have to work to overcome. It's a sad reality. I don't have a vote, so i don't need to pander. So i'm free to call a spade a spade!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  79. garsduc

    Jack, it's the three R's: Racists, Rednecks, and Religious fanatics

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  80. mark from san antonio

    it means that the people of america has not learned from this joke of an administration. we get the government that we deserve.

    mark from san antonio

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  81. andrew s.

    what it tells me is that the American people want change, but not for the sake of it. Obama has no real policies, or ideas. Change is only good if it sound, and as far as I'm concerned the only real candidate for Change in McCain. He has been doing it for almost 30 years and been heavily scrutinized. Shame on the media...for such bias.......

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  82. Jason from Kingsport, Tennessee

    It means that not everyone thinks Obama is the greatest thing on God's green earth. It shows at least some of us still have some sense and aren't completely focused on the concept of change. Obama would be change, but mark my words – not a good kind of it.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |

    This is truly sad Jack. The numbers suggest that the still staunch part of racist America would rather pay 10 dollars a gallon for gas than to vote for a "Black" president. Change will be outvoted by those who dont want to change the hate in there hearts.

    Mike Hill, Far Rockaway, N.Y.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  84. Jan

    No Hillary No win for Democrats that's what it means Jack. Its going to be a long HOT summer and there's no telling what will happen or what will come out of the candidates closet so ten points, that's nothing especially when YOUR taking the polls.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  85. R.C. from MT

    Neither has developed the feeling of trust from voters. Never know which way McCain will swing on immigration, OR which one of Obama's skeletons will fall out next.
    By the way, Jack, aren't they both US Senators? That says enough in itself!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  86. Keith

    Jack, It means about the same thing as the media marginalizing Ron Paul. People are obviously not paying attention. Any American who would rather have the Patriot act rather than be responsable for themselves and and the people around them, needs to look back to what this country stands for. Maybe 10 million people will have to march on washington and take our country back peacefully.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  87. Bishar

    The polls are close but so what Obama will win anyway, McCain will not. One's conservative but doesnt energize base, one's liberal and energizes all bases. Obama will win in a landslide anyway, he'll win the South, North, East, and West. PS. Retire Senator McCain

    June 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  88. Mike

    The Polls suggest the Democrats do not have a strong candidate.
    Obama is not a uniter as he advertises, if he was the polls would not be so close. He is as far right as you can get. = Divider

    McCain is not a strong Republican, but he is close to being an independent. He proves he can and will help Americans on both sides with common sense ideas and not radical speeches full of empty promises.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  89. Kemic - Houston, texas

    Two reasons:

    1. Senator Obama has been on the general election campaign for only a week , following a hard-fought battle against a formidable opponent in Hillary Clinton. Republicans should be very concerned that McCain is behind in these polls.

    2. Unfortunately, America is still somewhat uncomfortable accepting the fact that the Black guy can actually be the hero. Senator Obama will destroy barriers that people continue to hold on to despite not even knowing why.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  90. Nabeel

    It means that americans are still unintelligent by the masses, and the people who are hurt the most, by the republicans wars, economic irresponsibilty and plain disregard for the american people are the same people who keep voting wrong simply for the sake of party allegiance. They need to realize politics is not a sport and that peoples lives are really at stake , theres no trophy just because you get your team to the endzone.

    Nabeel from Washington DC

    June 12, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  91. Ed Johnson

    Be patient, Jack. This is destined to be pretty one sided by the time November gets here. In fact, it could be so lopsided by convention time that there could be talk of selecting someone else. Remember, he isn't 'locked-in' yet.

    Nice guy, but out of date.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  92. Matthew

    It means Obama better pick Hillary as V.P. or he'll most likely lose,and there will be NO change. Polls are not always perfect,but they are worth paying attention to. I believe if he was to add Hillary to the ticket, there would be nothing that could stop the Democrats from being in the White House,and that is the ultimate goal!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  93. Doris J. Heiser

    It means that the pollsters are missing the young voters who have cell phones, and therefore unreachable. The young voters are energized and overwhelmingly for Obama. I have many family members,young and old, Republican and Democrat, who are all switching to Obama this election.........thanks to the 200 pound ball and chain called Bush.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  94. anandabart

    From Bruce in Los Angeles:

    Jack, it means that Americans – even your average blue collar Republicans and Independents – are still not in enough pain due to the Iraq war and the economy. Maybe they all have to lose their homes and jobs to wake up.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  95. Citizen AJ, Northern Virginia


    I personally republicans, independents and former Senator Clinton supporters who are adamant about voting AGAINST John McCain. They cannot stand the republican party. So, the poll just shows some reluctance to change which we all have. In the end, I truly feel people will welcome the change, especially one that brings representation of the AVERAGE American back into the White House.

    Any one listening to Senator McCain on issues and followed him in the past know that he is out of touch and is pandering to win the Presidency. He will do NOTHING for the average citizen and the fact that he BELIEVES in this "war" is enough to NOT vote for him.

    Polls are snapshots in time. Lets see what the polls say on November 3rd!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  96. Ian Huffaker

    It means that there are a lot of political masochists out there who enjoy being lied to and deceived by their government, and are hoping for four more years of "pleasure".

    June 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  97. Janis

    Change has only just begun. Barack is just getting started.

    Lakeport, CA

    June 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  98. Giselle, Atlanta

    It means that some people are actually doing just fine and think that the status quo is wonderful and others need more time and suffering before they figure out what a big mess Republican policies have made of this country. I, personally, don't know why anyone would even want to take on the economic and foreign policy nightmares that the U.S. confronts.

    Good Luck to the "winner"...

    June 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  99. eric

    A)the polls are wrong B)you are asking the wrong people or C)we need a recount

    June 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  100. Aaron in WV

    As a Democrat I used to be afraid of running against McCain. The 2000 McCain would have been hard to beat. I've learned lately, however, that the old straight-talker has been replaced by a confussed flip-flopper who'll do and say anything to get elected. As soon as the rest of the country figures out that the man they once admired is no more, you'll see Obama's numbers soar.
    And as for the Clinton supporters who say they'll vote for McCain in protest, that would be like protesting against guns by shooting yourself in the head.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  101. Chris Dallas Texas

    Racism is the reason Jack. If Obama was white he will have a bigger lead in the polls. White people is not up to electing a black man. There are some White people that will be content to allow this country to head in a bad direction such as a bad economy , mishandling the War, before a black man is elected. That is so sad!!!!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  102. Patricia Marziotto

    It means Obama wins period!!!! Thank God almighty for that. And, not too worry, us white women will be there for him. We weren't born out of an Easter egg.

    We know where our bread is covered. And, we want change plain and simple and McCain is not change. McCain needs to stop living the past. The war in Vietnam is over, we won't allow him to try and finish where he left off some 30+ yrs ago!

    It's over Senator McCain let go of your past. It's hurting us, our soldiers, and our country!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  103. Kate Leslie

    racism, jack. final answer.


    June 12, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  104. Margaret

    The way I see the close numbers is, nobody is happy with their choices. I'm personally not happy with the choices we're being left with. I don't think we can actually expect someone with no experience to be able to fix the mess we're in.
    I've spoken with lots of my friends (and they live in different parts of the country) and they don't like either person running. We've joked that maybe we should start over with new people.
    Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens as time goes by. I just don' t think a lot of folks are happy with the choices we have right now.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  105. Francis Murray


    A few nights ago on a rival news network, a newswoman asked if the Barack/Michelle Obama 'fist-pump' was a secret terrorist hand gesture. To my knowledge, this woman was not fired or rebuked for her actions. This tells me that fear-mongering and latent racism will play a bigger role in this election than the polls will reflect.

    Whistler, BC

    June 12, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  106. Charlie

    This means the almost 50% of Americans that voted for Bush the last two terms have still got their heads in a cloud. If we vote an old version of Bush into the White House I headed for Canada, and I'm dead serious.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  107. Casells

    It means it's been a week since it's even been "a race"...WAIT. The crazy uncle in the attic hasn't had time to show his stuff yet...the world has changed..it's a young man's job !

    June 12, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  108. Ray, Irvine

    It means that for all of the millions of dollars both candidates have spent to fool the electorate that they are different was a waste of money. It also means that regardless of the rhetoric and spin from both sides, the voters don't really see much difference between Obama or McCain. The public knows it's the same old DNC or RNC people who will be the puppetmasters of either a handsome, well-spoken (with cue cards) empty suit or a likable, worn-out war hero. God help us all!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  109. Will from San Jose, CA

    It doesn't matter much since the popular votes doesn't elect the president. The electoral college does and that is currently breaking for Obama. The latest Rasmussen polls show him ahead in Missouri, Michigan, and New Hampshire. The momentum appears to be in his to lose.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  110. Peaches

    Bring back Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  111. Jeff in Dayton, Ohio

    Nothing. We know who is going to win, McCain has this in the bag. The national polls can indicate whatever they want, but this isn't a popular vote contest. When you look at the electoral college, McCain has a clear lead.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  112. Brandon; Chesterton, IN

    I'm going to have to add to my comment that I don't think much of America is racist anymore.
    The problem is more with change. A change in policy isn't as substancial as a change in face, and we're used to seeing white.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  113. Dennis Johnson

    I think it depends on the wording, as well as the "cross-section" being polled as to the outcome. Thank God we don't elect our Presidents on Poll tallies or we'd still be feeling the sting of the Perot presidency. Polls are good for general questions and presumptive answers, but Obama will probably win November like a mudslide after a Flood. People are tired and McCain seems to be developing dementia when it comes time to remember what he's supposed to be fighting against. If the polls are being conducted in Nursing Homes with Alzheimer's units, then im sure McCain will win; but if its the rest of us, well "the proof is in the pudding".

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  114. Manuel

    Just means it's to early to poll. After defeating Clinton in the Democratic run-off you have to give people time to actually compare Obama to McCain. I think you will see Obama's lead open up in a couple of months. I was a big McCain fan when he ran against Bush in 2000 but his age has caught up to him. He just doesn't look presidential and everytime he smiles or laughs he looks like the guy that just stole christmas.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  115. Jaime

    Obama should pick McCain for VP and they should dissolve the useless republican party.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  116. Karen Waggoner, Huntington, WV

    It means that George Bush has been messing with the voters again!!!

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  117. John Watson

    Jack, it's going to be a close election. The white male in this country who know this is the last Presidential election they will see, will vote for John McCain. At this point in time 10 points is nothing. Considering the margin of error plusor minus 3. America has to win this election.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  118. Brenda Seward

    Such a close margin suggests that the American public continues to be fascinated with nonsense rather than the important issues that affect their lives. They become obsessed about a candidate's pastor or an off-hand remark made by a spouse or merely the rumor de jour rather than their stand on the issues. It's time that the voting public grows up and stops demanding entertainment from thier news and starts demanding the facts.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  119. Leon Ubly Michigan

    Jack it means the American People can think for themselves and are not just blindly buying everything you "talking Heads' are throwing at us.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  120. Phil from Boston

    Jack, all these current polls show is that when it comes to voting for specific individuals - as opposed to parties or positions - many voters go with the better known (and so "safer") individual. Over the next several months this should change, especially when the electorate sees McCain and Obama together in debates. Also, such national polls are basically misleading because they don't reckon with the electoral college system.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  121. William from Sanford, NC

    It means somebody is getting paid to report and promote a close race. Millions in advertising dollars are hanging in the balance for the news media. Jack, I hope you get the raise you're wanting and I hope Wolf Blitzer gets twice as much for having to put up with you.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  122. Beth in Virginia

    Simply because voters haven't decided to put the country in the hands of a rookie dispite the anti-change policies of John McCain. Plus they are questioning what exaxtly does Obama's change really mean.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  123. J.B.

    What it means is that this country is deeply polarized. Each candidate is guaranteed a substantial percentage of the popular vote from their hardcore party faithfuls, regardless of the current woes this country faces, and regardless of the issues. Until that polarization subsides, general election contests in this country will remain extremely tight.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  124. Patrick

    McCain supports privatizing social security, keeping our troops in harm's way and opposes contraception, let alone a woman's right to choose. All this talk about "straight talk" and "maverick" is just media hype, the guy is a hard-right-wing Republican who admits to being computer illiterate. He's completely out of touch and out of the times.
    He even opposes providing our troops with education benefits when they get back home, something Barack Obama supports. It comes down to this: Democrats hate war, Republicans hate our troops.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  125. Cheryl


    The close polls means that Obama still needs a little work with certain groups of people. However, I like the polls close. The difference will be in October and November when people are actually looking at this race.

    However, the first debate will actually run the poll numbers up in Obama's favor when he wipes McCain off the town hall floor.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  126. Sasha Manhattan, NY

    I think that people are unsure at this point, and are only voting based on the party they voted for in 2004. I think with only 2 candidates to focus on now, we will start to see what direction the polls will take after the debates, and when Republicans start to vote Democrat. As we have seen already starting to happen.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  127. Ron Edwards

    Hello Jack:
    Polls don't mean a thing
    I am a life long democrat, I am voting for a war hero not a muslim.
    So, you and yoa folks better not start frying yoa chicken in the WHITE house until the fat lady sings.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  128. Bryan, a Canadian Perspective

    I see McCain doing alot better than people predict he'll do, given the unpopularity of the Republican party so far.

    But in the end, change will win out, and on January 20, 2009, Chief Justice Roberts will be swearing in Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  129. Daniel Schiefferle

    In a year when the political climate is such that the Democrats should easily elect the next President, the party has selected a nominee from the extreme left of their party, a man with no relavent experience, either domestic or foreign, a man who apparently is at least sympathetic to black liberation theology, a candidate whose campaign theme is one of bringing us together to end the partisan gridlock, but yet whose record shows not a hint of an inclination to work across the political isle. Why?

    June 12, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  130. Nick

    It means half the country doesn't have a clue of what's going on.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  131. Bruce

    It shows that all of us Clinton supporters really haven't made up our minds yet. Once former Clinton supporters decided who they'll be supporting, we'll see who starts to take the lead in the polls.

    Bruce Norquist
    La Salle, IL

    June 12, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  132. Don

    It simply means that Obama has only been the presumptive nominee for less than a week. His poll numbers will continue to climb through the conventions until they reflect how the electorate really feels, which is heavily in his favor.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  133. Bonnie

    Jack, does it really matter how the people vote? Didn't we already learn from the Gore-Bush year the people don't matter?

    June 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  134. Solomon T. L

    Jack this is the same country and the same people that voted for Bush twice. Bush is a reflection of the people that voted for him. So why are you surprised when McCain is appealing to these very people ? It is a pity. America doesn't deserve this

    June 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  135. Aaron Katz

    What does it mean that Barack Obama is leading John McCain by "just" five points? It means that not even the four month honeymoon that John McCain had between February 5th and June 4th was enough - a span during which Barack Obama had to fight off attacks from both Hillary Clinton and the Republican machine simultaneously - was enough to make him more popular among likely voters than Senator Obama. At this point, McCain's polling numbers have nowhere to go but down.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  136. Gayle, Illinois

    It means that either, the media is spinning the American public like a top, or people just have not seen just how old McCain really is. The man (McCain) will say something and expect applause form his audience....even when he says some off the wall crack and applause isn't warranted. Obama has so much more on the ball.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  137. paul

    for one thing ... have we not learned that the polls are never 100% or even 90% or 75% accurate?

    That being said, as someone already said, it shows that McCain is a traditional politician through and through. With that it also shows that for as many times as Barack Obama wants to say he is not, he is a TRADITIONAL politician. He attacks and misleads on his differences with McCain all the while not making any specifics.

    When he ran against Hillary it was go to my website and read my specifics and now with McCain and the economy, wait til next week for the specifics.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  138. Andrew in South Ogden UT

    This is no different from the past two elections. The nation is split and the election will be decided by a few key states. Really and truly every vote can make a difference.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  139. J.W. of Mississippi

    It means absolutely nothing. As soon as Americans get an opportunity to See them together in a debate the difference will grow in Sen. Obama's favor. Sen. McCain seems to be lost, and his advisers are doing his a great disservice. Either Sen. McCain don't know what the real issues are or he is afraid to address them. He is waisting time talking about Sen. Obama's VP vetting process. Even Carl Rove wouldn't attack that and we all know that he represents the lowest form of life on the planet.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  140. Jake in Nebraska

    I take issue with Larry's comment.

    I would vote for JC Watts, Colin Powell, Condi Rice. I won't vote for Obama because he is a liberal democratic and I am Conservative. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin.

    June 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm |